The United States announced today that it has halted all humanitarian aid from flowing into the Gaza Strip, insisting the halt was the fault of the Hamas government’s “meddling” in the ability of private groups to provide aid to civilians.
The US move comes in response to an effort by the Hamas regime to audit the NGOs to reveal the sources of their funding. The USAID organization was providing aid to Gaza primarily through funding NGOs and was keen to keep which organizations a secret.
Complicating the matter is that under US law any group with direct contact with a State Department listed terrorist group is itself a terrorist group, so all NGOs which submit to their government’s demand for an audit would become terrorist groups and no longer eligible for aid anyhow.
Hamas defended the move, saying it has the legal right to investigate the finances of organizations operating within the Gaza Strip. They also insisted that the US should not be surprised that their aid operations would be subject to the laws of the territory they operate in, even if they refuse to recognize the government of that territory.